The Real Warrior Women of the Ancient World
The first popular history of The Amazons, the real warrior women of Central Asia, based on groundbreaking new research.
Since the time of the ancient Greeks we have been fascinated by accounts of the Amazons, an elusive tribe of hard-fighting, horse-riding female warriors. Equal to men in battle, legends claimed they cut off their right breasts to improve their archery skills and routinely killed their male children to purify their ranks.
For centuries people believed in their existence and attempted to trace their origins. Artists and poets celebrated their battles and wrote of Amazonia. Spanish explorers, carrying these tales to South America, thought they lived in the forests of the world’s greatest river, and named it after them.
In the absence of evidence, we eventually reasoned away their existence, concluding that these powerful, sexually liberated female soldiers must have been the fantastical invention of Greek myth and storytelling. Until now.
Following decades of new research and a series of groundbreaking archeological discoveries, we now know these powerful warrior queens did indeed exist. In Amazons, John Man travels to the grasslands of Central Asia, from the edge of the ancient Greek world to the borderlands of China, to discover the truth about the warrior women mythologized as Amazons.
In this deeply researched, sweeping historical epic, Man redefines our understanding of the Amazons and their culture, tracking the ancient legend into the modern world and examining its significance today.
Catherine Nixey, The Times
Kathryn Hughes, Mail on Sunday
“Man, the enthusiastic historian of Asia, dissect the Amazons with sharp scalpel. Vivid and personal.”
“Entertaining, fascinating, intriguing. However they are portrayed, the Amazons appear to have enduring appeal.”
Philip Womack, Literary Review
“The Amazonian ideal of strong, independent women, able to take on men on equal terms, remains as fascinating to us now as it was to the ancient Greeks.”
Jane Shilling, Daily Mail
“Ferocious female warriors known as Amazons were a recurring staple of Greek myth, but was there any basis of truth? In this fascinating reassessment, Man points to newly discovered archaeological evidence.”
Mail on Sunday